"Waw", a 24k gilded Arabic letter, A3

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Part of an elegant series exploring the hidden interpretations behind the beautiful Arabic letters. Intrigued and awe-inspired by the Arabic Alphabet, I feel honoured to share these Illuminated letters with you all. They are gilded using genuine 24k gold, on A3 handmade khaadi paper

The paintings have beautiful deckled edges which add to their traditional charm. Entwined around the letters are Ottoman florals, painted using handmade pigments from India, and high quality watercolour paints.

Painting comes unframed


The ‘waaw’ is the twenty-seventh letter of the Arab alphabet. It represents number six and belongs to the element of air.

For the Sufi masters this letter symbolizes the mystical promise of the total assent to God. Shaykh al-Qashani remarks that this letter denotes the universal aspect of the whole.

Shaykh Ibn al-‘Arabi gives quite some attention to the ‘waaw’ in his ‘Fotuhat al-Makkiya’ and in a booklet dealing with the ‘mim’, the ‘waaw’ and the ‘nun’. The ‘waaw’ has in common with the two last mentioned letters that its beginning and its ending are similar, which points out that we’ll return to the One we came from, the One without beginning nor end. As the first and second ‘waaw’ are different, we may be reminded of the fact that He never repeats the same manifestation twice. Shaykh Ibn al-‘Arabi tells that the ‘waaw’ is the first perfect number, as the number six symbolizes the perfect human being. Its divisions are similar to itself, because its half is three; its third is two and its sixth is one and the addition of its sixth, third and half is equal to six. The letter ‘waaw’ is the product of two eminent letters, the ‘baa’ (=2) and the ‘jim’ (=3). The product of these two letters is again 6, the number of the letter ‘waaw’, so this ‘waaw’ also has the qualities of the two other letters. As we have seen that 5 is the number of the letter ‘haa’, it is also 2+3. This explains in part why the ‘waaw’ has been realized by the ‘haa’. The shaykh also deals with the similarities in shape between the ‘waaw’ and the ‘haa’. All of it is an indication of the connecting force, which unites the spiritual being with its most elevated (the shaykh uses the term ‘ali = 111, perhaps symbolizing with the supreme pole) side. He finishes by writing that ‘the one who obtains the knowledge of the secrets of the ‘waaw’ thus acquires the revelation of the supreme sciences according to the most pure modality.

Shaykh ad-Dabbaagh informs us that the ‘waaw’ corresponds to the quality
of dying when you still are alive, which is a part of the message.


Limited Edition Giclee Prints 

Only 50 available in each size. These will be signed and numbered and embellished with your choice of colour. Please leave a note upon checkout. If no note is left, I will embellish it with gold gouache by default